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Joy and Purpose

Rainbow-2The reason for all creation is the joy of creation itself. To create and know the joy of sharing divine unconditional love with the creation; creation so that love can be expanded within the created form, this is the purpose of all existence. Consciousness, existence, is meant to be unfettered joy, it is meant to be love beyond love. What, then, has created this particular reality where we experience many things which seem to be the opposite of unfettered joy and love? Why do we suffer in this universe based on joy? Consciousness can choose any experience, including the experience of being unconscious (meaning unaware of its own nature). It chooses that in order to expand and discover more about itself. Just as light expands into darkness and the darkness must scatter, so consciousness expands into unconsciousness.  The problem, is that many have become ‘stuck’ in unconsciousness. We are like light which has forgotten it is light and does not realize it can make the darkness scatter simply by virtue of its nature, as light. We think we need to be something else, we think we need something, or someone, outside ourselves in order to be ‘saved’ or in order to ‘see the light’. In actuality, all we need to do is be who we really are and the darkness will scatter.

How do we remember and become who we really are? By following our joy. Find what gives you joy and focus on that. The reason this is hard for many of us is that we have been trained out of this. When we were children we followed our joy quite naturally, but at some point we were made to think that doing this was wrong. You were told to do your homework instead of doing what made you happy in the moment, so you began to put aside your joy in order to fit in with the rest of the world. This is why sometimes we have to go back into our child self in order to find our joy again. There may be things that gave you immense joy in your childhood that you put aside and forgot about. Sometimes you need to search through your childhood memories to find that again and bring it back into your reality of now. Perhaps you loved to sing, or to dance, or to watch fish, or to do flips on the trampoline. So when you remember that, then what? If I loved to sing do I quit my job and put everything into singing? Maybe, but in most cases that is not necessary. Just begin singing again, maybe just in the shower, or maybe join a choir, then see where it leads you. It could take you places you never expected, and if you are following your joy and allowing your joy, it will not lead you astray. Once you line up with your own joy, you will find your purpose unfolding, and be forewarned it may not be what you expect, but it will always feel good, and right. This is why allowing is important, if you set up too many expectations or ideas about how it should or shouldn’t look in this process, then you are getting in your own way. Forget about how it should or shouldn’t look and just follow your joy. Your joy and your purpose are the same thing. Let me say that once again: your joy and your purpose are the same thing. When you find your joy, you have found your purpose. Joy is the purpose of the universe, it is the purpose of consciousness and therefore is your purpose.

Blessings on the journey,

Rhea Jamil

The Book of Job

ImageI started thinking recently about the story of Job in the Bible.  I don’t know about you, but I always disliked this story.  The story always left a bitter taste in my mouth, and I think many people feel that way about it.  However I recently began to see this story from an angle which makes more sense and teaches us about the nature of the human condition and the nature of suffering.  So the story of Job in a nutshell is:  Job is a happy guy who loves God, has a loving family and lives in abundance.  The devil one day challenges God and says that Job would not love God anymore if he did not have the abundance and happiness that God had given him.  To prove the devil wrong, God allows the devil to take everything from Job.  Job loses his family, his wealth, his land, his health, everything – except his own life.  When Job challenges God asking why, God answers him by telling him that he cannot know the depth and greatness of God, that he cannot understand the infinite nature of God.  So on the surface this appears to be a story about a mean God who would rather win a bet with the devil than protect one of his own.  But let’s go deeper and look at it from the higher perspective of oneness.  First, we know that in actuality God and self are not separate.  Thus God in the story can be seen as the higher self of Job.  The devil is therefore the lower self of Job.  One thing to notice is that things only start going wrong for Job when the devil enters the picture.  When it is just him and God everything is abundance and happiness, it is the devil’s willingness to bet against happiness that starts the cascade of negative events.  I do not believe in the devil, but there is an energy which the devil represents.  The devil represents the polar opposite of the higher self.  The higher self is always in alignment with the universe, the ‘devil’ is that which is not in alignment, it is that which allows you to believe that you are separate from God, separate from your higher self.  Sometimes this part of oneself is referred to as Ego.  To be clear, Ego is not evil, but Ego is the aspect of you which allows you to perceive yourself as a separate entity in the universe, and therefore can lead to a belief that you are separate from God (though it does not have to).  Ego is the ‘lower self’ not because it is bad or wrong, but only because distinct from the whole, rather than the connection to the whole itself, which is what the higher self is.

Many of us live in relative abundance while simultaneously worrying that if we lose what we have, that we would lose ourselves too.  Who would I be if I lost everything?  How would I survive?  If my happiness is gone, what is the purpose anymore?  In other words, if I lost everything, if the things that make me happy go away, would I ever be able to align with my higher self again (and recognize that ‘aligning with higher self’ could be considered another way of saying ‘love God’)?  We think it’s easy to align with our higher selves (i.e. – be ‘happy’, or ‘love God’) while we are in abundance, and that it would be hard if we are not in abundance.  This however is backward thinking, because alignment with source, with higher self, is where abundance flows from.  Abundance is not required first in order to have connection to higher self, rather connection with higher self is required first to have abundance.  Abundance means happiness, it does not mean material wealth alone.  Remember many who are very wealthy are also very unhappy, so that is not true abundance.  True abundance extends to all areas of life and translates into true contentment, joy and peace in life. 

Back to Job.  This is essentially a story, a cautionary tale of you will, of what occurs when the lower self (ego, played here by the devil) is allowed to challenge the higher self (God).  Because we are free beings, we are allowed to do this, we are allowed to follow our ego instead of our highest selves if we choose this.  From this perspective, Job is not a victim, rather this is a choice Job makes on another level.  This leads to disastrous consequences, in a word – suffering.  Job suffers when the ego is allowed to challenge his alignment with higher self.  Then when he is at the bottom, the lowest point, he asks a logical question: “why?”  God’s answer is that he cannot understand the infinite nature of God.  This is Job’s higher self trying speaking to the ego, the higher self trying to re-integrate with Job’s ego, by making him realize that the infinite aspect of who he is, is the part which truly has the power in this universe, and that the ego’s power is an illusion.  The ego of Job is disconnected and cannot know abundance, and will only know suffering.  The ego believes in limits, therefore it cannot know the abundance that the highest self does. 

I always find it interesting to put a new spin on an old story.  This story like many in the bible is easier to understand when we look at the symbolic nature of the story rather than trying to take it literally.  Humanity has evolved since this story was written, and the original way it was presented worked for people of that time perhaps, but it does not work for people now because we have evolved past this notion of the human as separate from the rest of the universe.  We have evolved past the notion of a punishing God.  This story still has a fundamental truth hidden within it, but needs to be looked at from a new angle to see it.

Love and Light,

Rhea Jamil

Karma and the Law of Attraction

SpiralThe law of karma, the law of attraction, and the law of cause and effect are all essentially descriptions of the same law in different terms. What you put out you get back, what you sow, you reap, yadda yadda. Although these laws are framed in different ways, and people hold different beliefs around them, they are in essence the same. Karma is unique mostly because it’s proponents believe that it follows you from life to life; this is not generally what people think about the law of attraction or cause and effect. However, whether you believe in reincarnation or not, and whether you believe that Karma follows you or not, no matter how you look at it, it is undeniable that there is a force which attracts to you the energies which you put out. These ‘energies you put out’ can be thoughts, intentions, words, actions, or a combination of all of the above. I believe that Karma is more forgiving than most people think. This is evidenced by the fact that positive thoughts seems to have so much more power than negative thoughts. Positive intentions often manifest in ways that are greater than what was ever imagined. Most of us have examples of this in our lives if we are paying attention. Aren’t many of the truly good things in your life even greater than what you would have expected? Aren’t many of the bad things in your life not really all that bad when you look at them in perspective? The system is rigged toward the positive. Positive feelings and thoughts will always create more and create faster than the negative. The problem is that most of us are caught in the negative so much of the time that we are still manifesting the negative – what we don’t want. We are still creating negative karma even though it is easier to create positive karma.

Karma often seems like something that we are a “victim” of, but that is only because the negative karma we create is usually done in unconsciousness. It happens when we are not paying attention. Lama Surya Das gives an example of a pickle jar. Imagine that you open a jar of pickles and become distracted after opening them (the phone rings, you get a text, etc.), then while you are distracted you put them back in the fridge without sealing the lid. What happens? The next time you go to the fridge to get the pickles, the lid comes off and you drop them. Now you have shattered glass, pickles and pickle juice all over the floor. You probably curse. If you don’t remember doing this yourself you might even instantly blame someone else like your spouse or child for being careless. Most of us have experienced something like this. Our action that we do in unconsciousness, (while we are distracted) causes an effect that is undesirable. In “The Secret” they discuss how the law of attraction is working all the time, even when we are not paying attention. Karma is the same, since we are essentially talking about the same law in different terms. It is working all the time, each moment of each day, with each thought, each action, each reaction, we are creating new karma, new manifestations. Thus, when you drop the pickle jar, remember that you still have a choice. You can react in anger and blame, or you can simply clean up the mess and move on. The latter decision will not create any more bad karma on top of the mess.

The unconscious stream of dialogue that most people have running through their heads is creating their karma, it is setting the law of attraction in motion. For most of us, it is difficult to pay attention 100% of the time, but regular meditation can help you learn to quiet and control your thoughts. What is going through your head most of the day? Are you thinking good thoughts about others? Good thoughts about the past or future? Or are they disparaging thoughts about others, and negative or fearful thoughts about the past or future? Whatever you are thinking will create more of the same, your thoughts are an energy which will attract like energies. Your feelings are a feedback system, so if you have trouble tracking your thoughts, which most of us do, pay attention to your feelings. They will tell you if what you are thinking in any given moment is in alignment or out of alignment with your highest self. When you feel “bad” it is generally because the thoughts you are having at the moment are not in alignment with your highest self. How do you turn that around? Listen to your favorite music, take a bath, meditate, breath, slow down, laugh, whatever you need to do to find your center. From the still place inside you, from the place of pure presence and awareness, you can hit the ‘reset’ button. Once you’ve made a new choice on where to focus your thinking, you are instantly creating new karma, and attracting new manifestations to your reality. Thank goodness for the ‘time delay’ of these laws. The effects do not happen instantly, and this gives us time to stop and hit the reset button when we need to, in order to create something new and better. This allows us to create from a place of consciousness instead of unconsciousness. That means no more broken pickle jars, it means you become aware that all things are your own choosing.

Love and Light,
Rhea Jamil

Why?

StarsWhat is it about humans that makes us unique? Although we are very much like a more ‘intelligent’ version of our ape cousins, we also have an awareness that there is something about humans that is distinct, beyond just having bigger brains. Scientists and anthropologists have grappled with this question. Each time we think we have the answer it proves false. We used to think it was our ability to make and use tools, but then it was discovered that apes make and use tools. We thought it might be our capacity for language, but it was discovered that apes can learn language easily, showing their brains are wired for language as well. Finally, scientists found something humans do that apes do not, and it was rather surprising: Humans ask why. In an experiment conducted at the Cognitive Evolution Group Research Center, apes were given a simple task – they had to set two L shaped blocks upright, standing them on the long end, and they would get a treat. After learning this task, the scientists then gave them a trick block which was weighted on one end so that it would always fall over. The apes would then enter the experiment room, try to set the block upright in anticipation of a treat, and the block would fall over. They would try again, and again and again until they eventually gave up. When human children were given the same experiment, they would set up the weighted block and it would fall over. After a couple more tries, the children would begin to examine the block, turning it over, observing it, shaking it, hitting it, doing various things to it to try and understand why it was falling over. They were looking for evidence of the unseen force which caused the block to fall. They were trying to find the why behind it. This is something the apes do not do, it is a human trait.

This desire to understand why has driven humans to discover many things about the world and the universe, looking for the unseen force behind what we see has driven both religion and science to try and explain our existence. It has driven us to discover the science of physics, to understand gravity, to find everything from quarks to other galaxies. It is also what makes us search for some reason behind our very existence. The animal does not question its own existence, it simply is. This is a beautiful state of being and one which allows the animal to be in present moment, and we have a lot to learn from them in this way. In spite of the fact that the animal’s life may be one survival struggle after another, the animal does not question why, they simply experience what they experience in the moment – good, bad or ugly. We, on the other hand, need to know why. Why are we here? Is there some deeper reason, some unseen force which drives my existence? From this line of questioning we discover the soul, and from the soul we re-discover our connection to all things. We are a kind of consciousness which questions itself, it questions why it is conscious in the first place. What is my purpose? Is there a reason for my existence or is it just random and meaningless? Why are things this way, and not some other way?

If you find yourself on a spiritual quest, it is usually driven by these types of questions. These questions are powerful catalysts for growth. In many cases the journey of the wondering soul begins with questions that come from a place of deep pain – questions such as “Why is there suffering? Why is there death?” These were the questions which drove the Buddha, among others. This type of question comes from the child within, the joyful and playful spirit which simply wants to Be, who has been suddenly confronted with a paradox it cannot sort out and cannot ignore. This paradox is the dissonance between what the person feels and ‘knows’ from some deep intuitive place inside themselves – that the universe is a good place – and the apparent evidence before them which seems to show the opposite. Confronted with this paradox, it is human nature to ask – why?

Sometimes as the ego gradually matures it will leave the childlike innocence behind in favor of a more dour view of the world; a view where life, meaninglessness and suffering are part and parcel to one another. From this point of view, nothing has meaning. Since the pain one experiences seems to have no meaning, then by extension nothing else does either. With no meaning, all appears random, nothing seems to connect and there appears to be no God. In other words, there appears to be no ‘why’ behind one’s existence. Because thinking creates reality, things keep showing up in one’s life which further confirm this ‘truth’ that it is all meaningless and disconnected. This is the dark night of the soul, the place where connection to the whole is lost. But, as the Persian mystic and poet Rumi so eloquently says: “Many have died searching for You as You hide behind the scenes, but this pain is not for those who come as Lovers.” The lover is the one who is not in resistance, and seeks beauty. Beauty opens the heart chakra which allows unconditional love to return, and from there you return to the joy of being. The answers to the why questions then become less important than the truth of love and connection. It is true many become lost in the dark night on the journey of life, but the key is maintaining the child-like innocence, the connection to unconditional love and joy of being that we all come into the world with. The pain is not for those who come as lovers. As we resolve this paradox, as we follow beauty through the jungle of ‘why?’, the way will become clear.

Blessings on your journey,
Rhea Jamil

Evolution of Consciousness

 

English: Conflict Resolution in Human Evolution

There is a lot of discussion about the current shift in consciousness as being the next step in human evolution.  But what does that really mean?  It is becoming clear that the ego-based identification with the mind is not serving humanity anymore, and so this shift in consciousness is our next step in the human evolutionary process.  This is a paradigm shift from identification with mind to identification with heart, which links us to essence, to all that is. 

Evolution works this way:  a species evolves a trait which is useful in a given environment, but when the environment changes, that usefulness dissolves and the organisms must shift to a new way of being, it must evolve a new trait or set of traits to cope with the changing environment – or it will perish.  The ego identification with mind evolved for a reason, it was useful to humans and helped us survive and adapt to many environments in the Neolithic age.  Now it’s lifespan is coming to an end.  It is coming to an end because what it has created in its current paradigm is now out of balance with nature and ready to destroy us; the world has changed since we first evolved the trait of identification with mind, and if we do not change then we perish.  Where we find ourselves right now is on the cusp of moving into a new way of being, we are evolving a new set of conscious traits (identification with heart, ability to connect to the transcendent realm while still in the body, integrating the transcendent and the physical) that will open up a new paradigm that will allow us to continue living on earth in balance.  But just as the first animals which attempted to shift from a paradigm of being earth-bound to taking flight must have crashed and burned a number of times before they were successful, so we are experiencing a similar type of chaos as we shift in to a higher dimension of awareness and consciousness.   

Evolution is not always pretty or easy.  The first fish to come out of the water onto land would have had a very hard time.  They would have struggled to move on land, and struggled to breath.  Thus they would have only come onto land for limited amounts of time before taking refuge back in the water.  Their desire to go to the land in the first place must have been driven by some environmental change which made it difficult for them to be in the water anymore.  Thus, they would have been uncomfortable in the water, and uncomfortable on the land for some time.  It would have been a very difficult time to be a fish.  After time, it would have become gradually easier, the dimensional shift from water to land would have begun to feel more and more natural.  This is what is happening to a lot of us now, and in fact has been going on perhaps for lifetimes.  It is why many of us are so ‘tired.’  We are exhausted like the fish, from the shift from one dimension to the other has taken a lot out of us; the “old” way of being in the world is not working for us, but the “new” way is something we are still adjusting to.  It does not quite feel natural to a lot of us but we know the shift is necessary.  The less you resist this paradigm shift, the easier it becomes, it is already becoming more natural for many, and soon it will be easier and more natural for all of us.  Be in a state of non-resistance, and every once in a while just stop and breath, listen to your heartbeat, quiet your mind, even if only for a moment.  Find the transcendent within yourself, your Eden within, and don’t worry if it is only fleeting.  That ‘fleeting’ feeling will gradually become more and more part of your reality.  Just as when the first birds were learning to fly, the first flights will be brief, but soon we will all be soaring. 

Love and light,

Rhea Jamil